/ Asked by valerie
Most of my work experience is as a server in semi-fine dining and business casual restaurants. I have also worked briefly in clothing retail. I'm going back to school. I would like to no longer work in the restaurant industry because the late night hours are not conducive to a student's schedule. What "day time" jobs would you recommend based on my experience and also considering that I am paying for my own tuition. Any tips on how to transition? And how make my resume/ cover letter relevant and appealing?
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Thursday, August 13, 2015
Congratulations on making the decision to go back to school. Although not an easy decision, it is one that I think you will be happy that you did. Being a server is not an easy role, but if you are fortunate, it can provide quite a nice income from the tips. Although you mention that you want to transition out of the restaurant/retail environment due to the late night hours, you may want to look into ones that would not require those types of hours. There are some restaurants located near colleges which may only be open for breakfast or lunch or understand that as a student you need to have more flexibility in your schedule due to classes and exams. If you do decide to look at other jobs, you might want to check out your school's career services center as a resource. They may have jobs posted that are geared towards students, as well as be able to help you tweak your resume. Some day time jobs that pay competitively include tutors, fitness instructors, nanny/babysitter, department or teaching assistants.
With regard to your resume and cover letter, having a customer facing role is great experience that most companies are excited to see. What you need to do is to showcase your strengths in that area and provide some specifics. If you learned some skills while doing semi-fine dining, provide information on your food and drink knowledge in your resume. Anyone in retail or hospitality knows that being a great salesperson is a key component to your success. You can list how well you were in your sales compared to others you worked with. Finally, you can look up power words to use on your resume, which you can incorporate in your experience so it can stand out from other applicants. Good luck!
Answered by Heather, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on Thursday, August 13, 2015
To make a transition out of the restaurant industry think of transferrable skills you have like customer service, communication, time-management, multi-tasking, etc. that would help you land a gig. Add them to your resume. State that you are looking to get out of the restaurant industry & grow your career while achieving your______ degree.

The world is yours when it comes to daytime jobs. I feel for your benefit in the long run you should steer in the direction of your major, but go for something that correlates with your skills. For example; if you’re going for a marketing degree try to get in the door as a front desk/customer service role in a marketing firm or ad agency. Try for grants & student loans if you can. Think of the bigger picture in the end vs. how much money you need now to pay for your schooling.
Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on Thursday, August 13, 2015
Great question! You sound like a very hard worker, doing school and work at the same time. This will help you very much in your career. I would recommend that you go back into retail. Retail is great position that has a flexible schedule to accommodate your classes. Your experience has a server in fine dining also has many great transferable skills. Some of the skills that transfer are Customer service, Hospitality, Attention to Detail, Point of Sale Technology, subject matter expert on food/wine, experience with high-end customers and superior level of service required at that level. This could translate into a high end retail store and also the hotel and tourism industry. You could also look into sales positions as well. I wish you all the best in your search!
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Retail encompasses so many different career paths and it sounds like you did have experience both in restaurants and in clothing.  Think about retail outside of one unit, perhaps there is a corporate position you may be able to utilize your past experience and really enjoy.  There are roles in communications, recruiting, customer service, operations, finance, marketing, visual merchandising, loss prevention, human resources and many more to consider in retail.  Retail is also inclusive of banks, food markets, auto dealerships, banks, florist and of course the two you have experience.  Customer service is a very desired skill and I think using your past experience to leap into another role may be something to think about;  You also want to check into benefits/rewards that companies offer their employees, many companies offer some sort of tuition reimbursement that may be a great way to continue your education and at the same time help you out with the transition.  Good Luck! 
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